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Message to the Congress Transmitting the Brazil-United States Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement With Documentation

October 30, 1997

To the Congress of the United States

I am pleased to transmit to the Congress, pursuant to sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2153(b), (d)), the text of a proposed Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, with accompanying annex and agreed minute. I am also pleased to transmit my written approval, authorization, and determination concerning the agreement, and the memorandum of the Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency with the Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement concerning the agreement. The joint memorandum submitted to me by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Energy, which includes a summary of the provisions of the agreement and various other attachments, including agency views, is also enclosed.

The proposed agreement with Brazil has been negotiated in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978 and as otherwise amended. In my judgment, the proposed agreement meets all statutory requirements and will advance the nonproliferation and other foreign policy interests of the United States. The agreement provides a comprehensive framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation between the United States and Brazil under appropriate conditions and controls reflecting a strong common commitment to nuclear nonproliferation goals.

The proposed new agreement will replace an existing United States-Brazil agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation that entered into force on September 20, 1972, and by its terms would expire on September 20, 2002. The United States suspended cooperation with Brazil under the 1972 agreement in the late 1970s because Brazil did not satisfy a provision of section 128 of the Atomic Energy Act (added by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978) that required full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards in nonnuclear weapon states such as Brazil as a condition for continued significant U.S. nuclear exports.

On December 13, 1991, Brazil, together with Argentina, the Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials (ABAAC) and the IAEA signed a quadrilateral agreement calling for the application of fullscope IAEA safeguards in Brazil and Argentina. This safeguards agreement was brought into force on March 4, 1994. Resumption of cooperation would be possible under the 1972 United States-Brazil agreement for cooperation. However, both the United States and Brazil believe it is preferable to launch a new era of cooperation with a new agreement that reflects, among other things:

—An updating of terms and conditions to take account of intervening changes in the respective domestic legal and regulatory frameworks of the Parties in the area of peaceful nuclear cooperation;

—Reciprocity in the application of the terms and conditions of cooperation between the Parties; and

—Additional international nonproliferation commitments entered into by the Parties since 1972.

Over the past several years Brazil has made a definitive break with earlier ambivalent nuclear policies and has embraced wholeheartedly a series of important steps demonstrating its firm commitment to the exclusively peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In addition to its fullscope safeguards agreement with the IAEA, Brazil has taken the following important nonproliferation steps:

—It has formally renounced nuclear weapons development in the Foz do Iguazsu declaration with Argentina in 1990;

—It has renounced "peaceful nuclear explosives" in the 1991 Treaty of Guadalajara with Argentina;

—It has brought the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco) into force for itself on May 30, 1994;

—It has instituted more stringent domestic controls on nuclear exports and become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group; and

—It has announced its intention, on June 20, 1997, to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The proposed new agreement with Brazil permits the transfer of technology, material, equipment (including reactors), and components for nuclear research and nuclear power production. It provides for U.S. consent rights to retransfers, enrichment, and reprocessing as required by U.S. law. It does not permit transfers of any sensitive nuclear technology, restricted data, or sensitive nuclear facilities or major critical components thereof. In the event of termination key conditions and controls continue with respect to material and equipment subject to the agreement.

From the U.S. perspective, the proposed new agreement improves on the 1972 agreement by the addition of a number of important provisions. These include the provisions for full-scope safeguards; perpetuity of safeguards; a ban on "peaceful" nuclear explosives using items subject to the agreement; a right to require the return of items subject to the agreement in all circumstances for which U.S. law requires such a right; a guarantee of adequate physical security; and rights to approve enrichment of uranium subject to the agreement and alteration in form or consent of sensitive nuclear material subject to the agreement.

I have considered the views and recommendations of the interested agencies in reviewing the proposed agreement and have determined that its performance will promote, and will not constitute an unreasonable risk to, the common defense and security. Accordingly, I have approved the agreement and authorized its execution and urge that the Congress give it favorable consideration.

Because this agreement meets all applicable requirements of the Atomic Energy Act, as amended, for agreements for peaceful nuclear cooperation, I am transmitting it to the Congress without exempting it from any requirement contained in section 123 a. of that Act. This transmission shall constitute a submittal for purposes of both sections 123 b. and 123 d. of the Atomic Energy Act. The Administration is prepared to begin immediately the consultations with the Senate Foreign Relations and House International Relations Committees as provided in section 123 b. Upon completion of the 30-day continuous session period provided for in section 123 b., the 60-day continuous session provided for in section 123 d. shall commence.


The White House, October 30, 1997.

William J. Clinton, Message to the Congress Transmitting the Brazil-United States Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement With Documentation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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